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Putting sovereignty question to Heath

June 28th, 1989

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 28th June 1989.

The juxtaposition of your headline “Thatcher to take first step on European union” and the photograph of the Queen opening the New Zealand collection of plants (June 24th) exactly captures the crisis now facing our country.

Despite the fancy words from certain Conservative politicians about sovereignty being out of date (tell that to the Russians or the Swedes), European monetary union is completely incompatible with the sovereignty of the Queen in Parliament, which is the way our country has been governed for 700 years.

Not long ago, British politicians of all parties would have erupted with fury at foreigners like Andriessen and Delors telling us what we must and must not do.  Yet today Mrs Thatcher is left by her Cabinet and party to fight alone, as if our continued independence from foreign domination was a personal idiosyncrasy rather than a duty laid on every Member by their parliamentary oath.

The incredible thing is that the British people pay huge sums of money for these humiliations, and these are sums which will grow rapidly if Delors gets his way.  If the British people’s patriotism and pride have been emasculated by years of media propaganda in favour of “Europe”, one might have thought they would still have had concern for their pockets.

Mrs Thatcher has made her view of our country’s future clear.  It is now long overdue for Mr Edward Heath and Mr Michael Heseltine to be asked: “Are you in favour of Britain ceasing to be an independent country in the way the world recognises it?  If not, at what point would you part company from Continental countries in their ambition to have a European state with its own president over our Queen, government over our government and laws over our laws?”